India Basin Natural Area

The Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan

The City and County of San Francisco (City) covers the northern portion of the San Francisco Peninsula and encompasses an area of 49 square miles. Small fragments of a unique ecosystem called the Franciscan landscape, part of the larger Bay/Delta region, still exist in San Francisco today. The Franciscan landscape extends from San Bruno Mountain to the Golden Gate Headlands. Its unusual combination of climatic, floristic, and geologic features supported the development of a biologically diverse assemblage of plants and animals, some of which were unique to the area. Most of the remnant fragments of the Franciscan landscape are included in the Significant Natural Resource Areas (Natural Areas). These areas are preserved and protected by the Natural Areas Program (NAP) of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD).

A critical component of the NAP is the development of a restoration and management plan for the City’s Natural Areas. The purpose of this plan is to provide a scientifically sound planning framework for the implementation of the Program. Several planning and policy efforts have preceded the development of this plan and form the foundation of its goals and recommendations.

To view the complete copy of the Significant Natural Resource Area Management Plan, please click on the web link: SNRAMP


The development of the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan has occurred over 10-plus years, consisting of numerous and extensive meetings with over 3,000. Here a brief history of SFRPD’s outreach and planning process:

Development Process from 1995 to 2012:

1995 – Staff Report on the Natural Areas RPD System – Recreation and Park

The Recreation and Park Commission reviews and adopts a Staff Report on the Natural Areas under SFRPD and directs staff to do further analysis. The Staff Report includes general recommendation and objectives for the entire system of Natural Areas including controlling invasive plants, promoting wildlife habitat and environmental education and supporting and promoting recreational opportunities that are compatible with resource conservation.

1998 to 2001 – Survey of Natural Resources Conducted – Consultants, volunteers, interns and staff conduct surveys of plants, wildlife, soils, trails and other features in the Natural Areas.

June 2002 – Citizens Task Force (CTF) Draft Report was prepared for preliminary review by a Green Ribbon Panel convened for the Natural Areas Program, comprised of local planning, environmental, land use and neighborhood groups.

2002 – Natural Areas Program Citizen Advisory Committee (NAPCAC) Created -Replacing the Green Ribbon Panel, the Board of Supervisors creates the Natural Areas Program Citizen Advisory Committee (NAPCAC) to review the CTF Draft.

2003 – Natural Areas Program Citizen Advisory Committee (NAPCAC) does not reach consensus – Due to a “sunset clause” the NAPCAC meet for one year but was unable to reach consensus and prepared both a “majority report” and a “minority report” providing no clear mandate or recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. SFRPD was not allowed to be a participant in the meetings to provide information and expertise.

2004 – New Working Group Convened – SFRPD convenes a working group with supporters and opponents of the plan. This “ad hoc” group was able to work SFRPD to make recommendations on how to revise the plan. The Management Area concept grew out of these meetings.

June 2005 – Initial Draft Plan was released for public review and workshops. Three well attended public workshops were held throughout the city and outreach also included neighborhood groups and residents within 300 feet of all Natural Areas. An on-line survey was also available for individuals and members of the public that were unable to attend in person. Feedback from approximately 2,700 public comments and recommendations from three independent scientists were incorporated into the Final Draft Plan.

February 2006 – Final Draft Plan released

August 2006 – Recreation and Park Commission adopts the Final Draft Plan as the project to be considered under CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act.

April 2009 – Proposed Legislation for Sharp Park Management The Board of Supervisors introduces legislation that requires SFRPD to develop and plan for restoring Sharp Park for the California Red-legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake and transferring Sharp Park or developing a joint management agreement with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In response to this, SFRPD begins to develop the Sharp Park Conceptual Restoration Alternative Report.

May 2009 – Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meetings was Held.

September 2009 – Sharp Park Conceptual Restoration Alternatives Report Completed – This report evaluates 18-hole, 9-hole and no golf alternatives.

December 2009 – Science Round Table Group Convened to Review Alternatives Report for Sharp Park.

December 2009 – Recreation and Park Commission adopts the recommendation of the General Manager to proceed with the Laguna Salada Restoration which is undergoing environmental review and preserve the 18-hole golf course at Sharp Park

December 2009 – Hearing and No Action Taken at the Board of Supervisors’ Government, Audit & Oversight Committee – The Board of Supervisors’ Government, Audit & Oversight Committee held a hearing to review the Sharp Park Alternatives Report; no action was taken by the Committee.

February 2011 – Sharp Park Working Group – A Sharp Park Working Group that was moderated by Amy Meyers and included SFRPD, GGNRA, City of Pacifica and San Mateo County, releases its findings to recommend the short term recovery of the species and a long-term plan to naturally manage this coastal area.

August 2011 – Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Significant Natural Areas Recourses Management Plan is released for public comment

September 2011 – Historic Preservation Commission Hearing was held. The Commission was split on the determination that Sharp Park is an historic resource.

October 2011 – Planning Commission Hearing on the Environmental Impact Report public input received.

October, 2011 – Public comment period on Draft EIR ended.

Next Steps

Spring 2012 – Summer 2015

Spring 2012-Summer 2013, Review Comments and Responses, Develop Final EIR including responses to comments on draft EIR.  Summer 2013, Planning Commission reviews and considers certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report.

Additional Information:

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), prepared by the San Francisco Planning Department, is available for public review and comment on the Planning Department’s Negative Declarations & EIRs webpage. CDs and paper copies are also available at the Planning Information Center (PIC) at 1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor. Referenced materials are available for review by appointment at the Planning Department’s office at 1650 Mission Street, 4th Floor. (Call 575-9122)

Any questions about the environmental review of the proposed project please contact Jessica Range at 415-575-9018.